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About Boromir/Aragorn becoming king..?

Wood Elf

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About Boromir/Aragorn becomig king..?

I have a question,
When Gandalf arrives at Minas Tirith with Pip, and they go to talk to Denethor, Gandalf tells Pip not to speak of Aragorn, saying, "It is scarcely wise to when bringing the news of the death of his heir to a mighty lord to speak of over much of the coming of one who will, if he comes, claim the kingship." So, Boromir was supposed to be the rightful heir of Gondor, and he was supposed to be king? I thought only Aragorn could be the king of Gondor, since he is Isildur's heir. I am confused here...
 

Snaga

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"It is scarcely wise to when bringing the news of the death of his [Denethors] heir [Boromir] to a mighty lord [Denethor = steward of Gondor] to speak of over much of the coming of one [Aragorn] who will, if he comes, claim the kingship [King of Gondor]."

In other words don't walk in and say 'Hi Denethor, not only is your son dead, but you won't be ruler of Gondor, once Aragorn shows up'

Denethor is a proud man, and wouldn't take it too well!
 

Wood Elf

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Oh, so Aragorn would dethrone Denethor! I thought he was talking about Boromir. But Denethor wasn't considered a king, right, he was considered a lord. Gandalf says that Denethor isn't to be reffered to as a king.
 

Dhôn-Buri-Dhôn

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Denethor was nominally the Steward of Gondor, that is, he was ruling the country in lieu of a rightful King. So, in theory, he would graciously step aside if a true heir of Isildur came forward.

However, keep in mind that Denethor's ancestors had been the actual rulers of Gondor for many generations -- 969 years! -- so it's not too likely he would welcome Aragorn with open arms.
 
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Harad

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Aragorn was not a slam dunk to become King. He was the rightful heir of the Northern Kingdom, but there was no Northern Kingdom. The heirs of the Southern Kingdom has died out. So Aragorn had a good claim to the Kingship, but, in principle, someone like Prince Imrahil could make a counter-claim if he disagreed with Aragorn's suitablitly.
 

Snaga

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That's right and indeed a previous claim from the heirs of Isildur had been rejected (because it was thought too divisive). In the book, Aragorn is very careful not to claim the throne too early: after the Battle of Pelennor he camps outside Minas Tirith, rather than risk any dispute, even though everyone accepts his claim. He only claims the throne after Sauron is defeated.
 

Greenwood

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The Stewardship of Gondor was hereditary just as the Kingship was. The Stewards had been the ruling lords of Gondor in lieu of a king for nearly a thousand years. Boromir, as Denethor's oldest son, was heir to the Stewardship. Aragorn, as a direct descendent of Elendil and Isildur had a rightful claim on the Kingship of Gondor which would have displaced the Stewards after nearly a millenium.
 
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Harad

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I dont know whether this is simultaneous posting but what VoK said is more precise than what I read Greenwood as saying.

had a rightful claim on the Kingship of Gondor which would have displaced the Stewards
"rightful" is in the eye of the beholder, and "would have" depends upon the acceptance of whether that claim is "rightful." As VoK points out an earlier claim was not deemed "rightful."

Each new Steward indeed took office with the oath 'to hold rod and rule in the name of the king, until he shall return.' But these soon became words of ritual little heeded, for the Stewards exercised all the power of the kings. Yet many in Gondor still believed that a king would indeed return in some time to come; and some remembered the ancient line of the North, which it was rumoured still lived on in the shadows. But against such thoughts the Ruling Stewards hardened their hearts.
 

Ged

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Repeating myself here, because I recently gave this quote on another thread and it wasn't picked up.

This is from Appendix A:

Thorongil got leave of the Steward and gathered a small fleet, and he came to Umbar unlooked for by night, and there burned a great part of the ships of the Corsairs. He himself overthrew the Captain of the Haven in battle upon the quays, and then he withdrew his fleet with small loss. But when they came back to Pelagir, to men's grief and wonder, he would not return to Minas Tirith, where great honour awaited him.
He sent a message to Ecthelion, saying: "Other tasks now call me, lord, and much time and many perils must pass, err I come again to Gondor, if that be my fate." Though none could guess what those tasks might be, nor what summons he had received, it was known whither he went. For he took boat and crossed over Anduin, and there he said farewell to his companions and went on alone; and when he was last seen his face was towards the Mountains of Shadow.

So, clearly, Aragorn chose not to try to claim the kingship of Gondor from Ecthelion (Denethor's father), nor to try to dispute the kingship with Denethor when Ecthelion died. Indeed, nobody in Gondor even knew who he really was. In this I suspect he was following the tradition of all his northern ancestors.

Question relating to the above quote:

Did Aragorn (Thorongil) go into Mordor at that time? If so, for what purpose? This would have been about TA 2980, immediately before he went to Lorien and first met Arwen (but in the same year) .

This question has intrigued me for a while, but I know you guys will have some answers!
 

Wood Elf

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Oh, I think I get it! Pardon me, but the whole deal of the stewards and kings of Gondor has confused me. So, Aragorn can claim the Kingship, and bump Denethor off, because Denethor is like a 'place holder'. I think I have to read of the history of the Numenorians and how the whole thing got started. Aragorn is of the Dunedain, right? This whole thing confuses me...I do get the part about Denethor holding the place, but why couldn't they find a king? Aragorn holds back too, and waits to take the kingship till a certain time.
 

Greenwood

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Harad

Yes VoK and I posted simultaneously. I did not even see VoK's post until just now because my browser takes me back to my post when I submit it, but I do not always scan back upards to see if someone has posted while I was typing.

As for Aragorn having a rightful claim on the Kingship, there is no dispute on that. Whether that rightful claim would be recognized by the people of Gondor and the ruling Steward is an entirely different, though obviously vitally important, matter.
 
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Harad

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I am not sure what "rightful claim" means. Does that mean that its a claim that should be considered, or that its a claim that must be accepted. If the former, then I agree.
 

Dhôn-Buri-Dhôn

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I would define a "rightful claim" as one that, objectively and on its merits alone, should be accepted - that is, the claimant is indeed a direct descendent of Elendil, and no other, more-direct descendent is extant. By that definition, Aragorn (and all his forefathers) could make a rightful claim.

However, the question of politics also enters in. It requires only a cursory glance at British history to see that a rightful claim to a throne is not always accepted without a struggle.

In Middle-Earth, the situation may be even more confused, as there seems to be an element of magic involved. The rightful King is a healer, remember, and there are factors like military leadership, wisdom, and lore-learning.

So: Aragorn (IMHO) could have made a rightful claim any time, but whether that claim would have been accepted and the crown placed on his head, well, that's a different matter.
 

Goldberry

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Taking up Harad's quote earlier

"Yet many in Gondor still believed that a king would indeed return in some time to come; and some remembered the ancient line of the North, which it was rumoured still lived on in the shadows. But against such thoughts the Ruling Stewards hardened their hearts."

The last sentence is key. Denethor is described by Gandalf as being very proud. In the chapter 'The Pyre of Denethor', Denethor tells Gandalf:

"'I am a Steward of the House of Anarion. I will not step down to be the dotard chamberlain of an upstart. Even were his claim proved to me, still he comes but of the line of Isildur. I will not bow to such a one, last of a ragged house long bereft of lordship and dignity.'"

Denethor holds the heirs of Isildur in utter contempt. IMO, Denethor would not relinquish the power he wields. The Ruling Stewards hardened their hearts to an heir from the North because it would mean a diminishment of their own power.
 

HLGStrider

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I think the people would've accepted the heir, even if he hadn't have come in a time of heroics, if he just looked good (there is an argument that Aragorn "did not resemble the carven images of Elendil..."), but those in power wouldn't have accepted him unless they really need him.

The people would doubtless have preferred the granduer of a king to the steward who couldn't even sit on the throne, for gosh sakes...
Those in power would've prefered to just rewrite the rules so that they could sit on the throne...

It's sort of funny that Denethor called Aragorn an "upstart" considering he was only a year younger than him... Of course, he probably meant that he was fresh into the political scheme of things, but it is sort of funny... Aragorn just aged better than Denethor because my wonderful Aragorn was perfect!!!
 
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Harad

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Fleshing out what VoK said and the issue of a "rightful claim":

'On the death of Ondoher and his sons, Arvedui of the North-kingdom claimed the crown of Gondor, as the direct descendant of Isildur, and as the husband of Fíriel, only surviving child of Ondoher. The claim was rejected. In this Pelendur, the Steward of King Ondoher, played the chief part.
'The Council of Gondor answered: "The crown and royalty of Gondor belongs solely to the heirs of Meneldil, son of Anárion, to whom Isildur relinquished this realm. In Gondor this heritage is reckoned through the sons only; and we have not heard that the law is otherwise in Arnor."
'To this Arvedui replied: "Elendil had two sons, of whom Isildur was the elder and the heir of his father. We have heard that the name of Elendil stands to this day at the head of the line of the Kings of Gondor, since he was accounted the high king of all the lands of the Dúnedain. While Elendil still lived, the conjoint rule in the South was committed to his sons; but when Elendil fell, Isildur departed to take up the high kingship of his father, and committed the rule in the South in like manner to the son of his brother. He did not relinquish his royalty in Gondor, nor intend that the realm of Elendil should be divided for ever.
'"Moreover, in Númenor of old the sceptre descended to the eldest child of the king, whether man or woman. It is true that the law has not been observed in the lands of exile ever troubled by war; but such was the law of our people, to which we now refer, seeing that the sons of Ondoher died childless."
To this Gondor made no answer. The crown was claimed by Eärnil, the victorious captain; and it was granted to him with the approval of all the Dúnedain in Gondor, since he was of the royal house. He was the son of Siriondil, son of Calimmacil, son of Arciryas brother of Narmacil II. Arvedui did not press his claim; for he had neither the power nor the will to oppose the choice of the Dúnedain of Gondor; yet the claim was never forgotten by his descendants even when their kingship had passed away. For the time was now drawing near when the North-kingdom would come to an end.
And Arvedui was the direct ancestor of Aragorn. Clearly a "claim" is one thing. Having that claim accepted is another matter entirely.
 

Snaga

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Thanks Harad: I had that passage in mind when I posted. You're not as lazy as me though!

By way of some commentary on it: the difference between Aragorn's position and Arvedui is that there are no rivals to Aragorn. Gondor can deny Arvedui and still pass the kingship to someone else who's claim is justifiable.

If Denethor had lived, it is hard to guess what would have happened. He was not predisposed to crowning a claimant from the North. But the people of the city recognised him: that would have put pressure on him. Boromir was originally of the same mind, but seemed to change his mind. Possibly Denethor would have too.
 
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Harad

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It depends entirely on the circumstances. If Gondor were able to sucessfully wage war on Mordor, on its own, what better endorsement for the present administration? If Gondor were on the brink of collapse and was rescued in large part by Aragorn, that's entirely different. In the former case, no "claim" might be enuf. In the later case, any "claim" might be acceptable.
 

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